Celebrating the Hanover Tomato Pie: Blogfest, Part 6

Tomato Tart

     Tomato pie is a heavenly dish that I have often served to company.  I never used the same recipe twice, but it always came out tasting sweet and creamy thanks to the obligatory mayonnaise and cheese that I would pile into the pie dish along with fresh Hanover tomatoes, basil and sweet Vidalia onion.  A bite of Hook & Ladder 43’s version of tomato pie at the Hanover Tomato Festival brought back delicious memories of dinner with extended family and friends.

Hook & Ladder 43's version surrounded by fried green tomatoes

     Over the last couple of years, I have gotten away from making the classic tomato pie.  Believe it or not, I have a couple of friends (Southerners to boot) who do not like mayonnaise.  I know, it’s hard to imagine.

     Then there is always the guest who is on a diet.  Who can enjoy tomato pie in all of its gooey glory when you are dining with a holier than thou who won’t even allow a slice to be put on her plate?  Have you noticed that it’s always a she spoiling the gustatory fun.

     Though I love nothing better than dabbling in Duke’s mayonnaise, I have cobbled together a deconstructed tomato pie that brings me as much pleasure as the conventional kind.  Sans mayo, this version showcases the tomato in its lightly cooked glory.  Hot out of the oven or eaten cold the next day, Tomato Tart truly celebrates the great tasting Hanover tomato.

A true Hanover tomato will never win a beauty contest, but that's not the point.

Tomato Tart

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 5-6 large Hanover tomatoes
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 Vidalia or other sweet onion, coursely chopped
  • 1 large handful fresh basil, shredded
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400°.

Slice tomatoes 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick.  As with the Fried Green Tomatoes, lay the slices in a colander or on a few layers of paper towels and sprinkle with salt to remove some water.

Roll out puff pasty to about 10″x18″ inch size.  (I like to roll my puff pastry onto a Silpat mat and use its borders as my guideline.)  Prick puff pastry all over with a fork, leaving a 1″ border.  Bake 10 minutes, then remove from oven.

Sprinkle a little cheese, onion and basil on the puff pastry and begin layering the tomatoes.  After adding each row, give the tomatoes a turn of ground pepper and sprinkle in some basil, onion and cheese.  Continue layering tomato slices until the puff pastry is covered leaving a small border.  Top the tomatoes with the remaining basil, onion and cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Take out of the oven and carefully slice (especially if you are using a Silpat mat).

Serves 8.

     Hope you enjoy this fairly guilt-free version of tomato pie.  Your guests can even eat around the cheese and puff pastry if they are following a strict diet.  Either way, the amazing taste of the Hanover tomato stars in this presentation.

All photos by Avad Fan.



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